Sunday, May 15, 2016

Love. You. Run for Women

Yesterday was a great running event called Love. You.    Run for Women

It was an event in support of the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba sponsored by Shoppers Drug Mart and the Running Room. They also hosted runs in other provinces supporting  local mental health associations.

Did you know that in Canada,
  • On any given week, more than 500,000 Canadians will not go to work due to mental illness?
  • Mood disorders occur at a rate of 5.4 percent of the population.
  • 1 in 8 adults will suffer symptoms during their lifetime.
  • Seniors suffer at a rate of 1 in 4. 
  • Women suffer from depression at double the rate of men.
These are huge numbers!

My daughter and my 8 year old granddaughter took part in this run last year and this year my 5 year old grandson joined in too. They have a category for young children to run a kilometer just for fun and all the kids get a nice medal on a ribbon plus snacks and a loot bag.  After the 8:30 children's event we moved on to the 10K run or walk and to the 5 K run or walk. Our Mayor was even there and called the start for the race. It was all very exciting!  Next year I will bring a decent camera and  maybe I will be in good enough shape to try the 5K myself!

It was a nasty cold morning, near freezing, but keeping moving and then hot chocolate and a fleecy blanket all helped keep my little grand-kids warm. They had a few games for the kids, a photo booth, a wall to write encouraging thoughts on, a booth to raise awareness about mental illness. There was Japanese style drumming for entertainment and a few speeches- one included the news that they had raised, with the help of Shopper Drug Mart, over $40,000. That is going to go a long way to making a difference to a lot of people.

I know that life changing illness, such as stroke, heart attack, cancer diagnoses have a profound effect on ones emotional and mental health. I was very fortunate that as part of my rehab I was required to work with a social worker who was trained to support us in dealing with all the changes that were happening to me and my family.

People need to know that there is indeed help out there for mental health issues. If you or your family and friends are having a hard time you need to know that you are not alone.

From the Canadian Public Health Agency:

What is Depression?

Everybody goes through "ups and downs" in their lives. Sometimes we use the term "depression", or "depressed" to describe these everyday feelings.

But the normal experiences of life shouldn't be confused with the serious medical illnesses known as mood disorders. There are different kinds of depressive mood disorders, including bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness), perinatal depression, but clinical depression, or major depression is the most common mood disorder.

Mood disorders are very real illnesses that can have serious and sometimes fatal results. They affect the entire body and not just the mind. Their physical symptoms can range from fatigue to stomach complaints or muscle and joint pain. Many people never realize that they are suffering from depression.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Let's Draw Recreation Therapy-- Video

I love this little video. It explains in under 3 minutes what I do at work!

One thing the video does not make clear is that we need to make the activities fit the needs of the individuals. My seniors would not be suited to doing a ropes course for a social activity but they do love singing along with an entertainer or having a discussion group and coffee party!

Therapeutic Recreation is not all about fun and games... We look at the person's current abilities and needs as well as their interests, their past hobbies, work history and what new things they might like to try. We use that information to help a person with recovery or to maintain their current skills.

Our main objective is to help people achieve a good quality of life.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

After the Fall

I had a fall in December and hurt my back as well as my stronger  hip and leg. I kind of looked like the guy in the caution sign.. twisted at the hip and landing on my own leg and bottom.  I have not missed any work but  I was on modified duties for some time and I have been taking it very easy at home. I also have done a lot of physiotherapy and my recovery has been much slower than expected.  I only have one more appointment covered by insurance and I am nowhere near the place I was before my fall. Dealing with insurance and all the non-recovery parts of this has been a bad experience. The fact that I have issues with my other, weaker, side, including a bad arthritic knee has really interfered with the course of my recovery, my exercises, and so on. Theoretically I can put in an appeal to have an extension of insurance for the physiotherapy but the process seems very intimidating and stressful and I am not confident that I will be successful.

I can not believe what a hard time I have been having with this. I have been in a lot of pain and really feeling limited in how I move, how much I move and how fast I move.  I have been taking lots of pain medications that upsets my tummy.  I am doing better now, lots better in fact, but not enough to sleeping well or enjoying activities.  One simple example is when we went to a movie in the theatre not long ago and I found it too painful to keep seated in the theatre chair, and too hard to get up and down out if it. Walking back to the car after sitting for the show was a challenge too. At home I am once again avoiding the stairs to my basement and asking family members to do my laundry and fetch items from the storage areas for me.

Fortunately my job actually has a lot of flexibility in the actual duties. There are a few physical aspects that can not be helped, but I have spent more time doing activities like reading out loud, sitting doing nail polish and playing board games. I have been avoiding things like games where I would need to do any bending or lifting. My co-workers have been very nice about it all but they were more than ready for me to get off modified duties and for work life to get back to normal. I have been really glad that I work so few hours so that I had time to recovery in between the days I work and now I think I am handling things pretty smoothly,

Anyway a big part of why I haven't been blogging much is because the main thing I have wanted to talk about is how miserable I have been feeling and that gets boring very quickly even to me. I have to remind myself that this is far from the worst challenges I have faced and I just need to persevere once again.

I have been waiting around for most of the winter for things to be all better and now it is almost summer so it is time to suck it up and just do Stuff.  .. Now to figure out just what that Stuff might be!
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